Our society is ripe with distractions, movement, speed, and stimulus. From the fast pace of our technological evolution to the demands of our multiple roles in our personal and professional lives, we often get drawn into a momentum that makes our heads spin. Little wonder is it, therefore, that our children pick up on this flurry of activity and often find it hard to be still.
Concentration and focused thought are skills that are learned. Meditation, or the practice of “techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things” is something one has to do repeatedly to see true effects and benefits. Some of the latest research has found that meditation can have the same effects on the brain as antidepressants (and to the same degree), and that it even improves grey matter volume. While we might think that this ancient practice of finding peace for the mind is accessible only to adults, child meditation is gaining focus.
In her book Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents), Eline Snel teaches parents and their children to enter a world of calm through practice every day. This is one of a growing number of books designed to give children a first step towards inner mindfulness.
Books and videos (even on YouTube) are available resources to help you help your child achieve calm. Remember that play is part of a child’s instinct, but stillness is cultivated. Give your child the opportunity to explore the hidden potentials of the mind with an early foray into serenity.